Update to Response to Information Request LRN11803 on the treatment of Jehovah Witnesses by the government of Lebanon and the Syrian forces [LBN23784.E]

According to a representative of the Canadian Branch of Jehovah Witnesses in Toronto, Jehovah Witnesses in Lebanon encounter no problems with authorities and "are not persecuted" (1 May 1996). The source added that Jehovah Witnesses do not encounter problems with Syrian forces or authorities in Lebanon (ibid.). They are able to hold small meetings, although not with the higher profile they would permit themselves in Canada (ibid.). The source noted, however, that Jehovah Witnesses are not able to distribute leaflets or publicly disseminate information (ibid.).

Due to their objection to military service, Jehovah Witnesses serve a jail term of between twelve and fifteen months instead of the obligatory military service (ibid.). Previously, according to the source, Jehovah Witnesses serving jail terms were not treated well in Lebanon, but their treatment has improved and they are permitted to attend worship meetings outside of jail (ibid.). The source added that in smaller centres Jehovah Witnesses may encounter difficulties from local authorities (ibid.). Information from the Jehovah Witness World Headquarters in Brooklyn, New York could not be obtained within time constraints.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted for this Response.


The Canadian Branch of Jehovah Witnesses, Toronto. Telephone interview with representative.

Additional Sources Consulted

Online Media Search (Lexis/Nexis)

Oral Sources.